Gifts for the Friend Who Still Runs Outside When It’s Fucking Cold

Just some key items that will make winter runs bearable, from two-in-one gloves to taller socks.

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Image: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images (Getty Images)

Running outside is almost always superior to running on a treadmill because you get to see both nature and other people’s dogs. Maybe you have a runner friend who feels similarly, or perhaps they simply canceled their gym membership during the pandemic and no longer have access to a treadmill. But the seasons are once again turning to winter, and dressing to run in cold temperatures presents a challenge: Your body will warm up once you start running, but one wind gust and some cloud cover can have you shivering. The best strategy is to keep your hands, ears, and torso extra warm and have pockets to stash gloves and headwear for periods of overheating.

And so, here are some key items that will make winter runs bearable, from two-in-one gloves to taller socks. And while running gear can be absurdly expensive, things don’t have to cost a lot to be effective. (The vest I recommend is from Old Navy, for example.)

But first, I do want to specify what I mean by “fucking cold” for outdoor running. As a person who grew up in Pennsylvania, I will run outside when the temperature is as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If the “feels-like” temp is much below 20, I refuse. So, specifically, this is a guide to running in 20- to 45-ish-degree weather. (I don’t think many people need help dressing for 50-degree runs, arguably perfect running weather.) If your friend lives in the Upper Midwest or New England, they will probably laugh at the idea of 20 degrees as “fucking cold.” I salute them, and say that everything here still applies—they’ll just need to layer a looser pair of pants over their tights and a Fancy Running Jacket or even a ski jacket.

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